3 Netflix shows we can’t wait to see in April

Three people stare at a cat in Dead Boy Detectives.

It’s not a surprise to find out that Netflix has been dominating in 2024. From hit shows like The Gentlemen with Theo James to popular movies like Damsel with Millie Bobby Brown, the streamer has put out an impressive lineup of original programming that crosses almost every genre and boasts popular stars, both young and old.

While its April programming schedule will have comparatively fewer titles than in the last few months, Netflix still has an intriguing selection that is sure to interest anyone with a taste for adventure and mystery. There’s another adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley, a French thriller set in a snowy mountain range, and a comic book adaptation from the fanciful mind of Neil Gaiman.

Ripley (April 4)

Ripley | Official Trailer | Netflix

It’s a bit amazing the long life Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley has had in the popular imagination. From its first film adaptation, the excellent French thriller Purple Noon, in 1960 to sequels like The American Friend with Dennis Hopper in 1977, the timeless story of an American man deceiving his way into European high society has captivated audiences for over half a century. The most popular iteration of the story is probably Anthony Minghella’s 1999 movie The Talented Mr. Ripley, a sun-soaked piece of gorgeous-looking cinema that introduced to the world the charms of Jude Law, the brainy beauty of Cate Blanchett, and Matt Damon in the ugliest swimming trunks ever made.

This April, Netflix will premiere a radically different version of Highsmith’s celebrated story. Titled Ripley, this adaptation eschews all color in favor of sharp black and white cinematography and casts the usually-twentysomething roles of Tom Ripley, Dickie Greenleaf, and Marge Sherwood with actors in their thirties and forties: Andrew Scott, Johnny Flynn, and Dakota Fanning, respectively. All of Us Strangers‘ Scott is Ripley, and from the trailer, it looks like he’ll be leaning into the character’s inherent oddness — this Ripley’s creepy, slippery, and very dangerous. Ripley is written and directed by Steven Zaillian, a still-unsung writer whose impressive resume includes Schindler’s List, the first Mission: Impossible, and Moneyball.

Anthracite (April 10)

Three people wait in a room in Anthracite.

France has been on a roll with tense thrillers set in a snowy mountain landscape. In 2022, The Night of the 12th was released to acclaim, and just last year, Anatomy of a Fall was embraced by audiences and critics alike, helping the film earn Oscar nominations for Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Picture. 2024 will see yet another French mountaintop thriller, this time in a limited series format, with Anthracite.

The plot is intriguing: the body of a young woman is found in the French Alps, and it’s quickly hinted that her death may be tied to a mass suicide that happened at that same place 30 years ago. Not eager to dredge up an old cold case, the police find the perfect scapegoat in Jaro, a loner who has a prior criminal record. But Jaro professes his innocence, and it’s up to him and an eccentric computer whiz, Ida, to find out who is behind this recent murder and, perhaps, the mass suicide that happened decades ago as well.

Dead Boy Detectives (April 25)

Two teen males read a glowing book in Dead Boy Detectives.

A lot of people are sick of comic book adaptations, and with good reason. Madame Web was awful, and it seems the only good superhero stories like Across the Spider-Verse and X-Men ’97 are in the animated genre. But Netflix’s upcoming comic book offering, Dead Boy Detective, promises to be a bit different. For starters, it’s based on Neil Gaiman’s characters, who first appeared in his legendary The Sandman Vertigo comic book series in the ’90s. More importantly, instead of saving the world, the title characters are simply solving crimes. Oh yeah, and they’re dead, too, but the title kinda gives that away.

Newcomers George Rexstrew and Jayden Revri are the titular undead sleuths who team up with a clairvoyant named Crystal (Kassius Nelson) and her best friend Niko (YuYu Kitamura) to help others in need. At the same time, they must evade supernatural forces, including Death itself and someone named the Cat King, played by Road House‘s Lukas Gage. If this all sounds weird to you, don’t worry — it’s supposed to be odd and a little kooky. If Wednesday Addams has a Netflix account, she’d watch this.

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